This weekend, take some time to genuinely relax and unwind. Take kind care of yourself. In fact, give yourself a break. A real one.
Here’s a list of ideas to get you started, whether you have 50 minutes or five.
- Learn to meditate.
- Practice this body scan.
- Visit the library or bookstore, and pick out a new book (or an old favorite). Curl up on a comfy chair, or thumb through your book while sipping a yummy drink. Or bring it home, or bring it to the beach.
- Have a picnic at the park, beach or your backyard. Feast on your summer favorites, like berries, burgers, frozen yogurt, pasta salad, popsicles, watermelon and corn on the cob.
- Try a yoga class — in person or online. Anna, founder of Curvy Yoga, offers a great collection of videos, podcasts and written practices (all free!).
- Put on your softest, most comfortable clothes.
- Sit by a sunny spot, and let the sunshine envelope you. Savor the silence, or focus on the sounds swirling around you.
- Give your hands (and your neck) a massage.
- Put on classical music, sit back, and close your eyes.
- Take a long shower or a bubble bath. Focus on how the water feels against your skin. Breathe in the aroma of your body wash or shampoo. Listen to the water cascading down. In other words, focus intently on your shower or bath. Be in the moment.
- Get up early to watch the sunrise.
- Or sleep in, and take a bit longer to get up, enjoying the warmth of the covers.
- Jot down a few pages in your journal, in the morning or at bedtime. Or take a journaling break during the day.
- Veg out for a few hours, watching your favorite shows. (Brian and I just started watching “The Big Bang Theory,” thanks to my mom, who loves the show. It’s hilarious! We laugh every few seconds. Seriously.)
- Try this guided meditation or this one.
- Whatever you’re doing, wherever you are, take several long, deep breaths.
- Make sand castles.
- Drink a cup of green tea, savoring each sip.
- Visit the botanical gardens.
- Eat at an outdoor cafe.
- Spend a full day outside. Breathe in the fresh air.
- Read poetry in bed.
- Find peace within yourself.
- Cook a simple meal. It’s amazing, for instance, how washing and chopping vegetables can put you in a kind of lull, in a kind of rhythm that soothes you.
- Speaking of rhythm, try doing laps. The repetition of your arms and the cadence of your breath is super calming. I’m a terrible swimmer, but doing laps in the pool — I like to think of my lap style as “the fish” — feels both exhilarating and relaxing.
- Think of five things that make you happily sigh with relaxation. Then add them to this weekend and the rest of your week.
- Tend to yourself. I love this tip from Rachel, which I included in another piece on 20 ways to unwind.
“When I need to rest and restore, I tend,” said Rachel W. Cole, a life coach and retreat leader. She defines tending as “care with intention.” And it can take many forms.
Cole tends to her home by cleaning the sheets, washing windows and “getting rid of unused and unloved items.”
She also whips up delicious and nourishing meals in her kitchen. And on some days, she tends to her finances and “need for a walk in the sunshine. Tending brings calm, order, and a deep reminder that I’m cared for and safe.”
Giveaway Winner: The winner of a spot in Mara’s powerful e-course, “Born to Celebrate,” is…
Amy, who shared this comment: “I celebrate by giving myself time to journal whenever I feel like it. I like this post…I need to have more daily celebrations of myself!”
If you’d like to take Mara’s class, learn more about it here!
How will you unwind this weekend?